Baker Hughes unloads its natural gas solutions business

Baker Hughes, the company that offers drilling rig counts and of course well services announced this week it is selling its natural gas solutions business for $375 million.

The buyer is a private equity firm and an Italian company. The segment that makes gas meters and pipeline repair products had previously been acquired in 2011 when General Electric bought Texas-based Dresser Inc. for $3 billion.

The business then became part of Baker Hughes, a GE company, when the Houston oilfield services giant merged last year with GE Oil & Gas. This sale is just a portion of the previous Dresser deal.

Most of the natural gas solutions is being sold to the Connecticut-based First Reserve private equity firm, which used to own much of Dresser before it was sold to GE. First Reserve will acquire the global manufacturing business and about 450 employees. An Italian manufacturing plant with about 40 workers is being sold to the Pietro Fiorentini company.